The Atlanta Hawks: The Dirty Birds were coming off a road win over the Miami Heat. They had won 11 of their last 14 games. Things were looking up damn it.
Then...something terrible happened. We're talking catastrophic bawfulness. We're talking "penis caught in your own zipper" bad. We're talking about a 41-point home loss to the New Orleans Hornets. It was Atlanta's worst home loss since a 118-74 blowout by Phoenix on March 30, 2000.
Said Josh Smith: "You can't explain it. You have games like this sometimes."
Really, Josh? Really?
Teams don't get held to 59 points every day. In fact, the Atlanta Hawks had never been held belo 60 points. Their worse offensive output ever came in a 73-63 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on November 19, 1996. So Christian Laettner, Mookie Blaylock, Tyrone Corbin, Dikembe Mutumbo and Jon Barry thank you, 2010-11 Atlanta Hawks.
To find a worse offensive showing, you'd have to go back to their 62-57 loss to the Boston Celtics. When they were the Milwaukee Hawks. In 1955.
Here's more fuel to the fire of suck from ESPN Stats and Information: "The Hawks are the fifth team to score fewer than 60 points and shoot under 30 percent from the field at home in the last 25 seasons and the first since the Heat in 2001."
Atlanta shot 29 percent as a team. According to Basketball-Reference, they finished with an eFG% of 31.6 and an Offensive Rating of 69.1. According to Hoopdata, they were 10-for-22 at the rim (45.5 percent), 4-for-12 inside 10 feet (33.4 percent), 0-for-1 from 10-15 feet (zero percent), 5-for-24 from 16-23 feet (20.9 percent) and 4-for-20 from downtown (20 percent).
Congratulations, Hawks. You played The Most Bawful Game of the Year. So far.
The Toronto Craptors: To be frank, I would expect a winless weekend for the Craptosaurs when that weekend featured back-to-back road games in Orlando and Miami. And they didn't disappoint...with regards to providing bawful. On Friday night, they lost 112-72 to the Magic. Dwight Howard had 31 points and 19 rebounds.
Said Raptors coach Jay Triano: "[Dwight Howard] is good. We're not."
Added Andrea Bargnani: "We're playing bad. After every game, it seems like we played worse. We have to find a way to stop this and play better."
That didn't happen on Saturday night in Miami. Even though the cHeat were without Chris Bosh (left ankle sprain) and Dwyane Wade (migraine), the Craptors got shelled...by Mike Miller. Yes, the same Mike Miller who began the night having scored a total of 15 points on 21 percent shooting in 10 games so far this season, including zero points at home. He scored 22 of those points in the second quarter, setting a cHeat franchise record for points in that quarter.
Miller finished with 32 points on 12-for-20 shooting. He also grabbed 10 rebounds...matching the combined output of Bargs (a center) and Amir Johnson (a power forward).
Said Bargnani: "Kill me. For the love of God. Kill me."
Ryan Anderson, quote machine: Regarding teammate Dwight Howard: "Sometimes it looks like he's playing against high school kids out there. Actually, all the time it looks like he's playing against high school kids."
Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, quote machine: Because these belong in a post.
From The Other Chris:
Mind-numbing comments from D-Wade (emphasis mine):
We're not the Boston Celtics. We're not these kinds of teams that need to play together. We have guys that have the individual talent, and sometimes the individual talent, one-on-one ability is going to take over. Boston has more of guys that have great individual talent, but they feed off each other. We're a new team and we're still figuring it out.
You don't need to play together? Unlike, you know, any and every great team in the history of team sports?
"I spent a lot of time on it this offseason. Once I made the decision to come here and realized we had a low-post threat, I kind of backed off a little bit. ... With [Chris Bosh] being out, I can go back to it. I just have to dust it off a little bit. It's no problem."
Because obviously when Bosh plays he hogs all the space around the paint and no one else can post up and...wait.
"Even with Bosh, the Heat have been among the league's least-productive teams in low-post scoring. Miami ranks 29th among the league's 30 teams in points in the paint, averaging just 34.9 points a game."
The Utah Jazz: What...the...frick.
Talk about a craptastic four-game stretch for the Mormon Musicians. It started with back-to-back road losses to the Wizards Generals and Nyets. Then, on Friday night in Boston, they were whacked around piñata-style by the Celtics. On Saturday in Philly, Utah fell behind, tried to mount a comeback, and then had their rally turned back by a five-point play (Andre Iguodala was fouled on a made three-pointer, Iggy missed the free throw, and Elton Brand tipped in the miss).
Said Jazz taskmaster Jerry Sloan: "We've lost our focus. I think we're feeling sorry for ourselves."
More bad news: Utah's five-game road trip finishes up on Tuesday night against the Lakers in L.A. Considering this team's history of being overwhelmed by L.A.'s size, this could get ugly. Well, uglier.
Deron Williams, excuse machine: He scored season-low five points against the Celtics, going 1-for-4 from the field and ending a streak of 48 straight regular-season games of double-digit scoring.
Said D-Will: "I was ready to get out there and play today. If I could have just got a chance, maybe could have done something. But I didn't have a rhythm early. Two quick fouls -- two quick calls, I should say -- took me out of my game and I really couldn't recover."
The Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers: Two bad teams. Two winless weekends. I'll give you a few seconds to recover from the shock. You ready? Movin' on then...
(Okay, okay, I wouldn't be me if I didn't talk about how the Pacers suffered "The Rain of Death" this weekend. Indy built a 16-point lead against the Frail Blazers in Portland, but Nicky Batum drilled five treys, including four straight in the fourth quarter as the Blazers rallied for the win. The Pacers then helped the Denver crowd fall back in love with Carmelo Anthony, who hit a career-high six triples...all in the third quarter. Said 'Melo: "Man, I mean, they just kept leaving me open. The 3-ball was falling. I've been looking for the 3-ball for about a month and a-half now." Anthony is shooting 30 percent from beyond the arc this season. Just sayin'.)
The New York Knicks: I kept saying their schedule was going to catch up with them. It took a little longer than I thought...but it's happening. And this winless weekend was a perfect example.
Weekend loss number two came against the Spurs in San Antonio. The Bricks were held to 92 points on 37 percent shooting. Amar''''''e Stoudemire led the Clank Parade by going 8-for-25 from the field.
Said STAT: "Got to win a game. That's all it is, We're fine, we're fine. We're in a slump, but we'll be all right."
That game they had to win? It didn't happen Saturday night in Oklahoma City. Thanks to this:
Wow. Only Mike D'Antoni could put Danilo Gallinari and his career Defensive Rating of 112 on Kevin Durant one-on-one with the game on the line.
Make it six losses in a row. And the Knicks are suddenly a mere one game above .500.
Raymond Felton -- who went 0-for-3 in the final 48 seconds, including a missed layup with 31 seconds left -- said: "I'd rather get beat by 15 points than get beat like that. It's always a tough loss when it's a game-winner like that."
Speaking of Felton...
Raymond Felton, excuse machine: "They did a good job of contesting shots. I just missed some. I missed some shots. A couple times I went to the basket, it could have went either way with the calls. You know how that goes, but whatever."
The Cleveland Cavaliers: Another winless weekend. Shock. Surprise. Shock. Quick summary: The Cavs shot 38 percent in a 14-point home loss to the Bucks.
Said Cleveland coach Byron Scott: "We have to play harder. We have to play smarter. And, we have to be tougher. That's the bottom line."
They were tougher Saturday night against the Bulls in Chicago. But they still shot 32 percent in a 13-point loss.
Said Scott: "Those guys in there are disappointed. I'm very pleased with the way we played. We played with heart. But as much as we needed to play as hard as we did tonight, it's still nothing. You still lose the ballgame."
Speaking of losing ballgames, the Cavaliers have now 16 in a row and 20 straight on the road. They are now one road loss away from tying the franchise record. And if they don't win tonight in New Jersey...uh oh. Their next three road games are in Boston, Orlando and Miami.
The Washington Wizards Generals: Playing at home against the Suns, the Generals built an 11-point lead after 12 minutes...
...but finished down 18 after 48 minutes. And John Wall took it pretty hard.
Said Wall: "Oh, yeah, it felt like a road game. We didn't have no heart. We didn't have no fight. We just gave up pretty quickly. It was a three- or four-point game when Channing Frye went off for five or six 3s in a row that changes the whole complexion of the game."
Well, not quite. Frye hit four of the Suns' six threes in the third quarter. But he did finish 7-for-11 from downtown. Way to get a hand in his face, Generals.
If, and only IF, u can make our game tonight in Detroit I'm giving away 2 tix to the 1st person to name my favorite bball player growing up.
Interestlngly mostly Pistol Pete's, then Isiah, Magic, Stockton, Jordan and a handful of......Ostertag? Clowns.
The Sacramento Kings: Anybody remember this?
Well, I guess Moped just loves tormenting the Paupers. Case in point:
I probably don't need to tell you that Sacramento went on to lose in overtime, right? Mind you, they led 99-90 with three minutes to go.
Said Beno Udrih: Same old, same old. We got lackadaisical."
Added Ellis: "We knew they [were] going to let us back in it."
The Kings have lost seven of eight and are a Western Conference-worst 9-32. Three of those seven losses have been in overtime. It's their second OT loss to the Warriors this season.
Paul Westfail, coach of the year candidate: "We had some great stretches. It's just a crying shame that we decided to stop playing together at the worst possible time."
The Charlotte Bobcraps: The Hawks were playing on the road the night after losing by 41 points at home. What's more, they were without starters Al Horford (sprained right ankle) and Marvin Williams (back). This couldn't end well. And it didn't...
...for the Bobcraps.
Gerald Wallace missed his first six shots and finished with 7 points on 2-for-9 shooting. Stephen Jackson had 10 points on 3-for-14 shooting. Charlotte fell behind by as many as 19 points and lost 103-87. And Tuesday begins a five-game road trip. Note the Bobcraps are 5-14 on the road.
Said S-Jax: "Obviously, this would have been a good win to go on the road trip with, but other people had different ideas about it."
The Phoenix Suns: The Suns had won five in a row and the only thing standing between them and a return to .500 was a night in Auburn Hills.
The result? An epic stink bomb in which they held the Pistons to 75 points on 35 percent shooting and lost anyway. Phoenix led by as many as 15 points but got outscored 28-13 in the fourth quarter.
Their failure was more historic than you know. According to the AP recap, it was the first time in franchise history the Suns lost when giving up fewer than 80 points. They had been 62-0 under those circumstances.
Stat of the game: Phoenix gave up a whopping 25 points off 14 turnovers.
Said Suns coach Alvin Gentry: "With everything that went on in that game, we still would have been OK if we don't turn the ball over."
Ah, but you did, coach. You did.
The Boston Celtics: Fuckin' seriously?
Said Wall: "I knew it was going to hit backboard, but I thought it was going to be a hard brick. It could've broken the backboard. Luckily, it went in."
Added Celtics coach Doc Rivers: "Let's just say that was the basketball gods punishing us for the way we played."
Regarding the way they played (via the AP recap): "The shot was probably what Boston deserved after it blew a 16-point, first-quarter lead. The Celtics shot 68 percent in the first quarter but 33 percent for the rest of the game. They went especially cold in the fourth quarter, shooting 5 for 23 and scoring their lowest point total (11) for any quarter this season."
Shaq and The Drain: As an anonymous commenter put it:
Shaquille O'Neal, C DNP SORE RIGHT KNEE Jermaine O'Neal, C DNP SORE LEFT KNEE
Together they are an oft injured kneeless O'neal.
Flip Saunders, quote machine: "I think tonight you should give us a road game because there were more Boston people here than Washington. So we're 1-20."
The San Antonio Spurs: After his team scored a 75-71 victory over the Kings back on November 21, Hornets coach Monty Williams proclaimed that his team's 11-1 record might be fool's gold. New Orleans went on to lose 15 of their next 25 games. Now they've won eight in a row for the second time this season...
...and I'm not sure exactly what it means.
The streak started with a win over the Nuggets as Carmelo Anthony (3-for-11) appeared to be melting down in response to all the trade rumors surrounding him. Then they came away with back-to-back overtime wins over the Magic and Rockets. Then came three close wins over sub-.500 teams (Bobcraps, Craptors, Care Bears), the last of which was a one-point victory in OT. And although those wins were potentially scoffable, what can you say about how they beat the Hawks and Spurs by a combined 65 points on back-to-back nights?
The Hornets held the Spurs to 12 points in the first quarter and then outscored them 31-10 in the third. New Orleans led by as many as 31 points and Williams got to rest his starters in the fourth quarter.
Said San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich: "New Orleans played fantastic defense -- physical, physical, well-executed defense. When you combine that with fine shooting, you're in for a hell of a night. They were wonderful."
Pops then humped a game program with Chris Paul's face on it.
Added Williams: "We can't be satisfied. I know everybody is going to be talking about how the Hornets beat the best team in the league and making a lot out of that, but we haven't beaten Oklahoma City in the regular season or the preseason. We have to maintain our focus and our discipline."
Not sure why the Thunder are Monty's measuring stick. But, hey, what do I know?
Update! Dirk Nowitzki, unintentionally dirty quote machine: From the examiner.com via DOH: "Brook is a handful down there. He's so long, he's a good player. He made some good plays down there at the end."
Suns-Generals: Yi Jianlian chaired a brick factory in DC tonight, producing two rectangular pieces of masonry in 5:40 for a +2.
Bucks-Cavs: Jon Brockman had a monster night for Milwaukee, with a foul and turnover in 1:46 for a +2 (and a 2:0 Voskuhl).
Rockets-Grizzlies: Jared Jeffries borrowed a Virtual Boy from Clutch the Bear for 22 seconds to earn a Mario.
Knicks-Spurs: Tiago Splitter divided his attention between Mario 64 and Tetris for a 27 second Mario, despite a board.
Lakers-Nuggets: Melvin Ely made one assist in 8:18, only to lose the rock once for a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.
Kings-Warriors: Luther Head bricked once in 2:12 for a +1, while East Oakland's Brandon. Wright fouled and lost the rock once each for a +2 in 2:59.
Hawks-Bobcats: Matt Carroll went into lacktion wonderland with a brick in 6:11 for a +1.
Celtics-Generals: Trevor Booker shockingly read one tale of suck in 4:26 by missing a field goal attempt.
Jazz-Sixers: Jason Kapono captured a castle in 52 seconds for a Mario, while fellow Sixer Tony Battie bricked once in 7:15 for a +1.
Pacers-Frail Blazers: Sean Marks marred his menagerie of stats with a brick, foul, and giveaway in 1:39 for a +3 that also earned a 2:0 Voskuhl.
Warriors-Clippers: Charlie Bell rang up 4 seconds of Wii time for a Super Mario, while fellow East Bay resident Brandan Wright wrote a space symphony in just 0.8 seconds on Mario Paint for a SUPER MARIO GALAXY!!!!!